August 31, 2012
August 26, 2012
I wanted to share some photos with you that I recently retouched. Some of you have commented about my photography and wondering if I retouch them. For some, yes, I do retouch them. Mostly brightening and adding 1 or 2 filters to create a lighter/warmer or cooler tone to them. For others, they are SOOC (straight out of the camera).
I use Photoshop exclusively because, that's the only thing I have. It's also a software I'm very comfortable in as I use it pretty much every day at work and at home.
These photos here were taken by 'Brad' at Telescope Pictures. They are the youngsters going up and down a beach destination asking if you want your photos or kids photos taken and then you take your little coupon to their shop and choose the photos you want to buy. My friend and I bought ours and own the rights to them.
Last year, the photos were pretty awesome. Lighting was perfect and shots too. I didn't do anything to them except occasionally add contrast and type. See them here.
This year, I found the images with too much burn (too much sunlight creating a darker effect). They were also on the 'red' side. I also didn't want to see body parts in the background: bottom legs peeking out & everybody else from the beach. So I decided to retouch these.
There are several ways to retouch your photos depending on your comfort level, what software you use and technical abilities. For me, these were easy-peasy because the texture of the waves are perfect for hiding retouching imperfections. In other words, you can be 'lazy' in your technique but still have the results look good!
For these, I used the simple cloning tool in Photoshop. Fast and easy. You can also use the spot healing tool. Around delicate areas like hair, you should use the lasso tool to create a 'selection'. This way, when you clone close to the hair, you will not clone into the hair. You can later go back and touch up the hair using the brush tool or clone again.
I also like to use levels, curves and/or selective color to remove or add color. In this case, I used selective color to play with the 'red' or 'magenta' to lower the level, making the girls looking less like sunburnt lobsters. I also use curves and/or brighten contrast to brighten up the entire photo and also, use layers & mask to isolate areas I want brightened without affecting the entire photo.
That's just some of the techniques I use to retouch. Hope it helps!
Posted by Chantale Park at Sunday, August 26, 2012
August 23, 2012
There was only one reason for us to visit Washington this year: To visit Anabel of Fournier (and the blog And So I Whisper) and her family. We met last year while she was showing at the ENK Children's Show and we just loved her! She's warm, inviting, intelligent and funny. Vacation seemed like the perfect time to try to get together again. Especially knowing that we were going to head back to Virginia Beach, Washington being close by (well, close-ish).
First off, I'd also like to wish Anabel and Mr M a very Happy 15th Anniversary!
Now, we had everything planned for our vacation trip but in our first week, I saw an Instagram photo of Anabel being taken away in an ambulance. She had severely twisted her ankle in New York. Anabel being Anabel continued on with her show at ENK while I was concerned for her and emailed to cancel our meeting. She had invited us to her home and I didn't want her to hobble around in pain making us dinner! To be honest, when I wrote that email to say we should cancel, my heart sank because I was so looking forward to seeing her again and finally meeting her kids and husband. When her emailed reply came back saying all was still on, oh joy (I still felt bad she would be hobbling around for us though)!
I really don't want to wax poetic about her kids and husband but... they're terrific! Anabel's son Sebastian waited openly and patiently for Keira to come out of her shell and be less shy and played with her.. and her daughter Daniela is as funny, intelligent and beautiful as her mom. I can't say enough about how well behaved and awesome her kids are! We also loved talking with her husband and only wished we had more time to spend with them.
Is there nothing this lady can't do? She is incredibly talented and creative, her crochet toys, pillows and accessories are heirloom quality, she bakes beautiful cakes and pastries & cooks an amazing meal. How lucky are her kids and husband?! How lucky are we to have met her and call her a friend. Thank you friend... you made our day that much brighter.
You can follow Anabel here:
On Twitter: @petitsfournier
On Facebook: Fournier
On Pinterest: petitsfournier
On Instagram: search for petitsfournier
We also spent a day at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Not the one in Washington but the one near Dulles Airport that Anabel's husband clued us in on. It's amazing! Please visit if you have the chance. It's well worth it. Thank you Mr M!
I will not lie, Keira found the airplanes less than interesting until I gave her daddy's iPhone and asked her to take photos. Then she got interested in the planes, the museum and out popped tons of photos and videos too!
Apparently the Space Shuttle is much more important than Keira and I.. we're blurred..
The eery Enola Gay.. hard to imagine this bomber destroyed so many lives
The Tomcat! From the movie Top Gun
August 19, 2012
Waking up to this sight every morning makes you forget the stress and breathe in a slower paced day
Hello everyone! Everyone? Hello?
Like dessert at the end of a long meal, this view is one we look forward to after 12+ hours on the road!
It's been a while. Had to get my old batteries recharged. A 2 week vacation did the trick! Kiki, the Mister and I went on a road trip. For the past 4 years, it's been a variation of the same road trip give or take a few places. And for the past 3 years, we've been enjoying our vacation with our good friends from Pittsburgh. We wait for an entire year to see each other and when we do, it's almost like a dream come true. We spend the week together not believing we're actually together. And when it's over, it's so sad (at least for me) that it's heartbreaking. I can't even look them in the eye when saying goodbye. Otherwise, I might be left to tears.
Keira and Miss S together at last!
We returned back to Virginia Beach for the first week of our vacation. This time, no cumbersome & heavy portable dvd player. I brought my iPod Touch for Keira, downloaded some apps for her as well as a few Disney episodes and her Robot Girl bag filled with paper, crayons and books. That's all that was needed! That Touch and the mister's phone kept her busy when needed. The only thing is.. we might have created a little video maker munster! She discovered the video option and created all kinds of hilarious little vids.
Our week in Virginia Beach coincided with some thunder & rain storms and major clouds but it made staying at the beach bearable. In fact, I think we spent more time at the beach this year than any other year we were there. I loved it! The waves were also big, bad and crashing. But at least there weren't any jellyfish in there and the water was super warm.
The girls had an incredibly great time together with some sleepovers put in and we had a great time with our friends too. I can't believe that time is already over and it's back to reality. I honestly hope we don't have to wait another year to see our friends.
My batteries have been recharged and hopefully, I'll be back to blogging and checking out my fave blogs! I have missed you all...
Wearing her Missie Sunshine Couture!
Making new friends!
A night out
With Hilby, the street performer
Fresh seafood dinner at Rockefellers
With her handy Robot Girl bag! What a lifesaver.. Check out Jen's new site here and get your own bag: http://ebkrobots.myshopify.com
One dog and one monkey...
What's a trip without a late night henna tattoo?
What sweet hearts!
2 mini Pittsburgh Pirates
A bittersweet moment, the last day together